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Tehran suggests Qatar most likely venue for Iran-US nuclear deal talks

PoliticsTehran suggests Qatar most likely venue for Iran-US nuclear deal talks

Tehran (The Times Groupe)- Iran and the US will likely hold talks in Qatar, mediated by the European Union, to close the remaining gaps in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal framework, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

An Iranian news outlet affiliated with Iran’s top security body, Nour News, argued on Twitter on Sunday that Doha has a better chance of hosting the forthcoming talks than other Persian Gulf countries since it is “working to resume talks on lifting sanctions.”

Iran and the EU broke a three-month deadlock in the Vienna nuclear talks on Monday after EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell met with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and head of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkani in Tehran.

Top EU diplomats announced in a press conference after the marathon meetings that the next round of talks will be held in a Persian Gulf country in a different format from Vienna.

Washington and Tehran will hold future talks mediated by his EU team, he said, noting that the economic and nuclear aspects of the deal have been resolved and now it’s just a question of “political difficulties.”

“I don’t know if either side will be able to overcome its political difficulties,” he concluded.

A major dispute between Iran and the US stems from the delisting of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)-linked organizations and the assurance that the future US administration will not walk out on the agreement again.

Neither the host country nor the exact date of the talks were specified by Josep Borrell, fueling speculation that either Oman or Qatar could be hosting the talks.

Last month, Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani visited Tehran and held extensive talks with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, including nuclear negotiations.

The Qatari leader said his country has “always had a positive view” of Vienna talks and believes dialogue is the only path to resolution.

It led to speculation that the Qatari ruler was trying to mediate to break the stalemate in Vienna talks and unfreeze Iran’s frozen assets.

His trip to Tehran came a day after EU deputy foreign policy chief Enrique Mora held talks with Iranian officials in Tehran.

Qatar has yet to confirm that it will host the upcoming talks, according to the Iranian government.

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